The Days My Faith Grew The Most
Life can be so complicated and so hard and in a world that is mostly internet, the standards have changed. I am not sure we care less but the meaning behind words have lessened. Used to be that families stayed close in proximity and now due to the change in economy and jobs and even medical, families are farther apart in miles than ever. Used to be when someone asked you how you were, they really wanted to know. Used to be when you heard the words I love you, you knew they were meant. It is a crazy, upside down world and with some things we have to adapt and with some….our faith just needs to grow and we need to remain true to our words and ourselves. It is a time when putting meaning behind our words is more important than ever.
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There are times in my life that events happened that made my faith grow the most and I did not realize it until after it was over. One of those times was when my Sweetpea was about three and my son was moved to Texas….miles and states away from me. I felt like my heart would break in two. There were no words and I remember crying for days and days. Time passed by and of course we talked by phone a lot and they came to visit. And then, one day my son here looked at me and said “Mama, I see peace on you. You do not get teary eyed when we talk about Sweetpea anymore.”
Did it mean I no longer cared? As I sat and thought about my son’s statement, I realized that the change was I had put Sweetpea and my son and his wife in God’s hands…the only unchanging thing in our lives. And that had brought me a peace and a trust I had not had before. My faith had grown by leaps and bounds over that time they were moved away. And it was that faith that allowed me to move away with my son here to Colorado…miles and miles and states away from my other son and his wife and Sweetpea. I knew that the distance would not matter in our love and in our talking to each other for those were the most important things.
Another thing in life that made my faith grow and made me realize that regardless of how times change, I must stay true to myself…was how words have changed. Love does not mean what it used to. People marry with the idea that if it does not work out they can divorce or separate. People say I love you all the time but their actions say different. They say I hate you and yet you know they do not. People ask you how you are but do not really want to know. So, what do you believe in any more? I learned to be true to myself and my faith and regardless of how casual words have become to many, I must make sure to never speak them unless I mean them.
I remember a time that I was just too busy to really want to hear how a friend was and the lesson I learned from that was a hard one. My heart still regrets that moment but my faith in love and compassion and in my Creator grew by leaps and bounds. I was talking to her on the phone back seven or eight years ago and asked the usual “how are you doing?” and she was telling me about the doctors again. She was going through treatment and had been for three years. But, that day I just did not feel like hearing about it and told her I had to rush off to take care of something.
It was the next day that one of her children called me in tears and needed comforting and when I asked them what was wrong, I felt my heart roll out of my chest, down my legs and across the floor. They told me their mother was worse and all I could think was “why didn’t she tell me yesterday when we talked?” And then I remembered that I was just too busy to listen to her.
What a lesson that taught me. It taught me never to say words casually…never to ask the question if I did not really want to hear the answer. I forced my friend to respond in a way that was not true because I was just too busy and did not want to hear it. . My friend died six months later but what she taught me has remained with me since that day. She taught me that life is my choice and I made a choice and the consequence was I put my friend in a position she should not have been in. It was not her job to make me feel better or to hide from me how she really was because I was not in the mood to hear it. And yet she did…for me. And what a lesson that taught me. She was both a blessing and a lesson.
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I talk about life being a choice a lot because it is constant choices. We choose to be happy or to let sadness keep us down. We choose to care about something or not care. We choose how we react and what we react to. We choose to hold grudges or to forgive. We choose to be a victim or a survivor. We choose to act like an adult or to act childish. We choose to be a friend or not be. I truly believe that some people do not like hearing life is a choice because with choice comes responsibility. It is easier to ignore or to stay a victim or to not make choices. And sometimes people want the easy way out. Only not making choices is a choice. And with it comes consequences. No one makes those consequences for us. We choose them when we make the choices we make. And we are making a choice when we refuse to accept responsibility for what we do and for our part in situations. We make a choice when we choose to not make any choices.
And I made my choice that day and the consequence was my dear friend died knowing that the day she needed me the most, the day she wanted to tell me she was dying…I was too busy to listen or care. And there was nothing I could do to ever make that up again. She was very forgiving and it was never mentioned again, but it taught me a lesson I will never forget and it made my faith in what our Creator teaches us grow by leaps and bounds.
I find that every lesson in life I learn, whether it is acceptance as with my Sweetpea and son moving so far away or it is making sure I choose right over easy, all make my faith grow. I think sometimes we make life so complicated when it is so easy and perhaps I find it easy because I have learned to hand over those things that are hard to my Creator so that I do not carry extra burdens around. All I know is that both of these lessons taught me so much in such a short period of time and I am sure I will have many more lessons as long as I am still here on this earth.
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